We view making commitments and the accountability required to keep those commitments, as being analogous to working out at the gym. The more you do it the stronger you become. I often say it’s like building a muscle, that muscle is courage.
Courage is defined as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.*
Courage is mandatory to consistently put yourself in a process that requires you to face your fears. When you attempt to make positive changes in your life, whether by changing your thoughts, actions, behaviors, or habits, you are committing to doing something that is outside of your comfort zone. In my work, the only thing that keeps us in our comfort zone is fear. So any time we move outside our comfort zone we are exercising our courage muscle. It takes courage to take on a new business idea, it takes courage to lose weight, it takes courage to change the dynamics of a relationship.
One of my group members asked me, “Will I ever not need accountability to get these things done?” My response was off the cuff and really from my own experience. Personally, I’ve been using accountability to tackle fear for years and I can’t imagine where I would be without it but I can say my commitments have changed, they’ve grown with me, my ambitions have changed, and I use the process a lot more for taking care of myself than I ever have before because that’s what my life requires at this time. But then I thought about it in terms of courage. I noticed that I’m coaching people to take steps with their businesses that I’ve already taken and were at one time quite scary. I’m doing things on a daily basis that I used to have to psyche myself up to do. I speak with authority on topics that used to make me sweat. So although I may need accountability as much as ever, what is very clearly changing is that the courage muscle has grown, and I can see it across the board with every one of my clients. They are flexing their courage left and right, and it’s bringing a big smile to my face to think how far we have all come. Think about what you can do today to step out of your comfort zone and get that muscle working.